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Pregnant + Parenting Students


Pregnant and parenting students are protected under Title IX, a federal law that protects people from discrimination based on sex at universities and other federally funded institutions. Please email the Title IX Coordinator at with any questions or to request assistance.

  • Educational institutions must provide pregnant or parenting students the same access to school programs and educational opportunities that are available to other students.
  • Schools cannot pressure a student to alter their educational plans though there may be times when a professor and student need to work together to create a plan that best supports the education of the student and still meets the requirements of the class. This can be done through Academic Adjustments that allow pregnant students to complete the requirements of the course and set expectations for student and professors throughout the course.
  • Student parents cannot be restricted from participating in classes and extracurricular activities and should not be required to obtain a doctor’s note to do so, unless the school requires doctor’s notes from all students who have medical conditions.
  • Excused absences are provided due to pregnancy and childbirth as a doctor deems necessary.
  • Pregnant students can return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before medical leave began. In addition, they are allowed to make up any work missed while out.
  • Teachers are expected to understand the Title IX requirements related to excused absences/medical leave, including a student’s right to choose to take leave or not and the right to make up missed work for pregnancy-related reasons.
  • Pregnant students are eligible for the same special services provided to students with temporary medical conditions, including homebound instruction, at-home tutoring, and independent study. Special programs (e.g. study abroad, sports teams, and clubs) cannot deny a parenting student the opportunity to participate due to their parenting status.
  • Parenting students cannot be denied the ability to apply for an educational program, financial aid, or scholarships for which they would otherwise be eligible. In addition, awards and scholarships cannot be taken away due to pregnancy.
  • Instructors cannot penalize a student because of their parenting status.
  • Schools must provide locations for expressing breast milk that are clean and private and are not located in a restroom.
  • Pregnant and parenting students are protected from harassment based on sex, including harassment because of pregnancy or related conditions.
  • Schools are required to have and distribute a policy against sex discrimination. The policy should make clear that sex discrimination includes discrimination against pregnant and parenting students.
  • Schools are required to adopt and publish grievance procedures for students that include how to file complaints of sex discrimination, including discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status.
  • Schools are required to have at least one individual designated to carry out responsibilities outlined under Title IX. At ESU, the Title IX Coordinator is designated. The Title IX Coordinator can assist with Academic Adjustments for pregnant students and receive complaints from pregnant or parenting students regarding the items listed above.
  • You can find more information on the rights of pregnant and parenting students from the Office of Civil Rights at